American Express is an advertising partner of JohnnyJet.com, but the opinions and beliefs in this post are those of the author alone, who makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information.
How To Access Some of the US’ Best Airport Lounges
The American Express Platinum Card used to be one of my favorite cards. It could get me (plus a guest) into any American Airlines or Delta Air Lines lounge plus all of the Priority Pass lounges. But then American pulled out, and Delta limited lounge access to just the cardholder, and I began to seriously think about canceling my card—and I’ve been a member for a long time!
But after my recent visit to one of American Express Centurion Lounges—exclusively for American Express cardholders traveling through Dallas (DFW), Las Vegas (LAS), San Francisco (SFO) and New York’s LaGuardia (LGA)—I’ve decided to keep my Platinum Card. Here’s why:
The American Express Centurion Lounges
The Centurion Lounges lounges are swank and exclusive! First of all, you can’t get in unless you have an American Express card. Those with Platinum and Centurion cards get complimentary access. Other American Express cardmembers have to purchase a one-day pass for $50 per adult (kids are no additional charge). And:
- The food is plentiful and great. The menus are created by top chefs, including Chef Dean Fearing, creator of Fearing’s Restaurant in Dallas. They also have an open bar and great service.
- There are family rooms filled with games and toys.
- There are showers with L’Occitane products and there are complimentary spa treatments (my favorite). Not sure if they all have them, but the lounge at DFW offers free 15-minute massages (neck, shoulder and back), facials and manicures. You can only make an appointment when you arrive and if you want more than one service, you have to make it after you complete your first appointment. The lounge wasn’t that busy so I had both a massage and manicure.
What’s interesting is that even though the American Express Platinum Card comes with a hefty $450 annual fee, it’s actually a great deal when you consider the value of the benefits. For example: Let’s say you apply for the card now and get it by June 1st. That means you get $200 for airline incidentals like baggage, food, and change fees—like every cardmember gets each calendar year.
So that means by the time the card is up for renewal next June, you’ll already have access to the (second) $200 credit for 2016’s calendar year. That’s $400 in total incidentals, compared to the $450 annual fee in the event you don’t end up liking the card (though I highly doubt that will happen if you travel a lot). And that doesn’t factor in all the other perks that come with the card—like the fact that American Express covers your $100 fee for Global Entry (I hope you already have it) if you pay with your American Express Platinum Card. Here are more benefits:
The only negative I could find with the Centurion Lounge is that the agents don’t have access to your airline’s computer reservations, so if you need to check or change flights you’ll have to go to an airport agent.
*Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities
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